The Testament of St. John of Rila. About the Myths and the Realia Cover Image
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Заветът на св. Иван Рилски. За митовете и реалиите
The Testament of St. John of Rila. About the Myths and the Realia

Author(s): Bistra Nikolaeva Nikolova
Subject(s): History
Published by: Институт за литература - BAN

Summary/Abstract: The article deals with a written document known as the Testament of St. John of Rila (its autentisity has been an object of ongoing discussions). The aim of the author is to comment whether this text could be regarded as a real legacy of St. John of Rila or as a later forgery. With this regard the data of the colophon (which is supposed to be an autentic fourteenth-century text and which speaks about a reliable later copy of the Testament) are analyzed. Outlined are some realia connected with the cult of the saint and the monastic organization of Rila monastery which are mentioned in the colophon, but which could not be discovered in the documents dating from the tenth to the fourteenth century; yet, all these terms find their correspondence after the seventeenth century. Along with this, some chronological arguments also reject the possibility that the colophon has been created at the end of the fourteenth or at the beginning of the fifteenth century. Some facts and some observations of the author suggest that the Testament itself as well was not written, as it is stated, during the first half of the tenth century. Thus, putting together the textual evidence and some events from the history of the Rila monastery in the nineteenth century, the author comes to the conclusion that the so-called Testament of St. John of Rila is a later, most probably nineteenth-century forgery (the earliest preserved copies of the work also date from the nineteenth century).

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 35-36
  • Page Range: 144-166
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Bulgarian